The Honda Monkey has been in production for a couple of decades already. Originally launched in 1968 with a 49 cc motor, the original Z50 Monkey still won the hearts of riders from all sizes, despite its small size. Yet, Honda’s little Monkey was still built tough enough to ride across Mexico. The bike stayed in production in various versions until 2017, when the iconic little motorcycle was relaunched for a newer generation. The current version of the Honda Monkey is powered by a bigger 124.9 cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine.
A few days ago, Honda’s new patent, again, surfaced online suggesting another smaller Monkey could be in the works. Based on the newer sketches, it seems like Honda realized that the current version of the Monkey is quite bigger than the original bike it replaced, and now, they want to come out with another version that is more closely sized to the original Z50 Monkey.
The new patent sketches suggest that it would be styled with more off-road capability. While the current version of the 125 cc Monkey harks back as a revival of the original 1960’s version, notable differences between the two would be first and foremost, the location of the engine and transmission. The current version Honda Monkey uses a unit construction engine with a manual gearbox mounted below the tube-top of the frame. The newer smaller monkey, as the sketches suggest, uses an axle-mounted engine and transmission. With the lack of gear shifters, it is likely that it will be more a scooter rather than a motorcycle. Its new engine and drivetrain could be lifted from one of Honda’s existing 50 cc or 125 cc engines to keep development costs to a minimum.
Other changes that are noticeable would be the small fuel tank which seems to be mounted on the top tube of the bike’s frame which looks much smaller than the current Monkey 125’s 7-liter tank. The handlebars also seem to be sitting closer to the ranger which affects its ergonomics. The battery is also seen to be mounted in front of the bike’s handlebars where the headlight is normally placed.
Everyone is divided in opinion with Honda’s decision to replace the current generation Monkey with an even smaller version of it. With a price point of $3,999 or somewhere around P200,000, it is still quite a reach for a small bike. With a price like that, Honda should have named it the Gorilla. Hopefully, with a smaller Monkey coming along, a smaller price tag comes with it as well.